Books For Kids: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

By Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Albert Einstein’s name is a synonym for genius. His wild case of bedhead and his playful sense of humor made him a media superstar, the first, maybe only, scientist-celebrity. He wasn’t much for lab work. In fact, he had a tendency to blow up experiments. What he liked to do was think in “thought experiments.” What was the result of all his thinking? Nothing less than the overturning of Newtonian physics. 8-12 years

On a Beam of Light: The Story of Albert Einstein

By Jennifer Berne, Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

Travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. See how imagination can make a powerful difference in a life. 6-9 years

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

By Don Brown

When he was born in 1879, Albert was a peculiarly fat baby with an unusually big and misshaped head. When he was a child, he hit his sister, frustrated his teachers, and had few friends. But Albert’s childhood also included his brilliant capacity for puzzles and problem solving. He set his mind spinning with ideas. His ideas were destined to change the way we know and understand the world and our place in the universe. 4-7 years

Who Was Albert Einstein?

By Jess Braillier, Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker

Everyone has heard of Albert Einstein, but what exactly did he do? How much do kids really know about him besides his funny hair and genius label? Here’s the story of his life told in a funny, engaging way that explores the world he lived in and changed. 3-7 years.

Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids

By Jerome Pohlen

Albert Einstein made a lasting impact on the world of science with his genius, fascinating life, and unique personality. This book features lots of science activities. Ages 9 and up

Albert Einstein: National Geographic Readers

By Libby Romero

Explore one of the most recognized scientists in the world with this biography of physicist Albert Einstein. Kids will learn about his life, achievements, and the challenges he faced along the way. 6-9 years

Albert Einstein

By Frieda Wishinsky

This DK biography tackles one of the most colorful figures in science history, Albert Einstein. Ages 10 and up

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

You may also like Books For Kids: Scientists https://www.barbaralowell.com/books-for-kids-scientists

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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. Born into slavery about 1822, in Maryland, she escaped from the Brodess Farm in 1849, and traveled undetected to Philadelphia in the free state of Pennsylvania.

One of nine children, her parents named her Araminta and called her Minty. At age five or six she was “hired out” to a nearby family to care for their baby. Minty watched over the baby and if it cried, Minty was whipped. As a child she was hit with a metal object meant for another slave. She was severely wounded and suffered from seizures and headaches for the rest of her life. But she recovered from her injury and was able to work on the farm. She plowed, hauled logs, and drove oxen. When Minty married John Tubman around 1844, she changed her name to Harriet, her mother’s name. 

Slave Notice Published by Eliza Brodess

In 1849, Edward Brodess, her owner died. Harriet believed that she and members of her family would be sold by his widow, Eliza. Harriet and her brothers Ben and Harry slipped away. Because they had been “hired out,” Eliza Brodess did not learn of their escape right away. She published a runaway slave notice two weeks later. But Ben and Harry soon changed their minds and returned home. They convinced Harriet to return with them. Shortly after, she escaped again and made her way to freedom by night with the help of abolitionists and freed slaves on the Underground Railroad.

“When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields and I felt like I was in heaven.”

Harriet Tubman (left) and  Former Slaves She Helped Rescue

Once a free woman, Harriet decided to return to Maryland to help family members and other slaves travel to freedom. She returned thirteen times in about ten years and guided 70 slaves north.* Harriet guided the people she helped at night. She liked to travel in the winter months when the days were shorter. And Harriet knew that if she left on Saturday nights, the runaway slave notices wouldn’t be printed in the newspapers until Monday. Harriet worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad by leading escaping slaves through a network of safe houses. She earned the nickname “Moses of her people” by guiding slaves safely to northern states and Canada. 

A Woodcut of Harriet Tubman Dressed in Her Civil War Clothing

In 1860, at the start of the Civil War, Harriet became a scout, spy, and a nurse for the Union Army. She helped lead a raid on South Carolina plantations that liberated over 700 slaves.

Harriet Tubman in 1910

When the war ended, Harriet moved to Auburn, New York. She cared for her aging parents, whom she had helped to escape north, and other people who needed her help. She later became part of the suffrage movement and spoke publicly for women’s right to vote. Harriet died of pneumonia in 1913, an American hero. 

“I never ran my train off the track and never lost a passenger.” — Harriet Tubman

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

*Recent research gives the numbers as thirteen trips, 70 slaves, and disputes earlier figures.

You may like: Books for Kids — Underground Railroad https://www.barbaralowell.com/books-kids-underground-railroad

Books For Kids About Harriet Tubman:

Before She Was Harriet

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Who Was Harriet Tubman?

By Yona Zeldis McDonough, Illustrated by Who HQ

Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman

By Monica Kulling, Illustrated by Teresa Flavin

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

By Alan Schroeder, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

 

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad

by Ann Petry

 

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Books For Kids: Civil Rights Movement

If You Were a Kid in the Civil Rights Movement

By Gwendolyn Hooks, Illustrated by Kelly Kennedy

Joyce Jenkins has recently moved to a new town with her family. She will soon be attending a segregated school for the first time. Connie Underwood is trying to figure out what her twin brothers are planning in secret. The two girls find themselves in the middle of a civil rights demonstration. The fight for equality will the country forever. 

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

There were signs all throughout town telling eight-year-old Connie where she could and could not go. But when Connie sees four young men take a stand for equal rights at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, she realizes that things may soon change. This event sparks a movement throughout her town and region. And while Connie is too young to march or give a speech, she helps her brother and sister make signs for the cause. Changes are coming to Connie’s town, but Connie just wants to be able to sit at the lunch counter and eat a banana split like everyone else.

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks,

A Young Civil Rights Activist

By Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan: picket those white stores, march to protest those unfair laws, and fill the jails — she stepped right up and said, “I’ll do it. Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be. Hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Child of the Civil Rights Movement

By Paula Young Shelton, Illustrated by Raul Colon

Paula Young Shelton, daughter of Civil Rights activist, Andrew Young, brings a child’s unique perspective to an important chapter in America’s history. Paula grew up in the deep south, in a world where whites had and blacks did not. With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,) Paula watched and listened to the struggles. She eventually joined with her family, and thousands of others, in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

By Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat on the bus. When she was arrested, her supporters protested by refusing to ride. Soon a community of thousands came together to help each other. Some started taxi services, some rode bikes, but many walked. After 382 days, they walked Jim Crow laws right out of town. Boycott Blues presents a poignant, blues-infused tribute to the men and women of the Montgomery bus boycott who refused to give up until they got justice.

Freedom Summer

By Deborah Wiles, Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim. But there’s one important way they’re different, Joe is white and John Henry is black. In the South in 1964, John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is. Then a law is passed that forbids segregation. The town pool opens to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other to the pool, only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people’s hearts.

We March

By Shane W. Evans

On August 26, 1963, a remarkable event took place. More than 250,000 people gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Memorial and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The thrill of this day is brought to life in We March, even for the youngest reader. 

A Sweet Smell of Roses

By Angela Johnson, Illustrated by Eric Velazquez

There’s a sweet smell in the air as two young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for freedom and justice. A Sweet Smell of Roses is inspired by countless children and young adults who took a stand and participated in the Civil Rights Movement. 

The book descriptions used are primarily the publishers.

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Books For Kids: Martin Luther King, Jr. https://www.barbaralowell.com/books-for-kids-martin-luther-king-jr

Mahalia Jackson’s Words Changed History  http://www.barbaralowell.com/mahalia-jacksons-words-changed-history

 

Thomas Edison Invented…

Thomas Edison grew up at a time when children went to work to help support their families. At age twelve or thirteen, he sold newspapers on the train that ran from his hometown, Port Huron, Michigan, to Detroit.

In his free time, Thomas like to read all about science and technology. He also liked to experiment with chemicals. He set up a laboratory in his basement. And he even conducted experiments in the baggage car of the train he worked on.

Young Thomas Edison (Wikimedia Commons)

At age sixteen, Thomas became a telegraph operator for the railroad. But he had to leave his job after a train accident was blamed on him. He then worked for the Associated Press at night. This job allowed him to read and work on experiments during the day.

Thomas Edison (Wikimedia Commons)

His first invention was an electric vote recorder. The recorder could be used by members of legislatures to count their votes on bills right away. But it was a failure. Thomas discovered that politicians did not want a fast way to count their votes.

Thomas’s first successful invention was a stock ticker that improved on earlier ones. His stock ticker let investors know quickly what was happening in the stock market.

Thomas Edison and his phonograph (Pixabay)

Thomas Edison’s first big invention was the phonograph. It recorded and produced sound that people could hear clearly. This invention made him famous all over the world. He became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” Menlo Park was his research laboratory complex in New Jersey.

Thomas Edison and engineers at Menlo Park (Shutterstock)

Now it was time for his greatest invention, the incandescent light bulb. Inventors had tried for years to come up with an electric light bulb that would replace gaslight. But no one had found a practical way to do that.

First, Thomas set up the Edison Electric Light Company. Then he worked for years trying to perfect a light bulb. He failed many times until he tried a platinum filament. The light bulb burned for 13 1/2 hours. But Thomas wanted a bulb that would burn much longer and would be cheaper to make.

Edison light bulb (Shutterstock)

Thomas had been fishing with a bamboo pole made from bamboo threads. He decided to try a carbonized bamboo filament. And eureka, his light bulb lasted for over 1,200 hours. It was affordable too. Thomas demonstrated his light bulb by lighting up his Menlo Park laboratory complex.

Thomas Edison (Pixabay)

Thomas wasn’t satisfied just inventing a practical light bulb. He wanted to light up everyone’s home, business, and factory. He started the Edison Illuminating Company. Thomas’s first power station went into operation in Manhattan. It lit up a one-mile square area. It was only a matter of time until electric light lit up the world.

His other inventions include a motion picture camera, and a Kinetoscope to project the images on, and the first alkaline battery for electric cars. It was the forerunner of the alkaline batteries we use today. 

A quote by Thomas Edison (Shutterstock)

To learn more about Thomas Edison and his inventions visit: https://www.nps.gov/edis/learn/historyculture/edison-biography.htm

Books For Kids:

Timeless Thomas:

How Edison Changed Our Lives

By Gene Barretta

Thomas Edison and His Bright Idea

By Patricia Brennan Demuth

Illustrated by Jez Tuya

Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?

By Margaret Firth, Illustrated by John O’Brien

Young Thomas Edison

By Michael Dooling

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Benjamin Franklin Invented Swim Fins https://www.barbaralowell.com/ben-franklin-invented-swim-fins

Leonard Da Vinci Invented… https://www.barbaralowell.com/leonardo-da-vinci-invented

Ada Lovelace First Computer Programmer https://www.barbaralowell.com/ada-lovelace-first-computer-programmer

Books For Kids — Inventors https://www.barbaralowell.com/books-for-kids-inventors

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Books For Kids — Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words

by K.M. Koystal and Benjamin Franklin, Illustrated by Fred Harper

Discover history through the eyes of one of the smartest, funniest, and coolest figures from America’s past. Ben gives sage advice on everything from good citizenship, manners,  friendship, and being happy. 

Ben Franklin & the Magic Squares

By Frank Murphy, Illustrated by Richard Walz

A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the “magic square.” A magic square is a box of nine numbers. They are arranged so that any line of three adds up to the same number, even on the diagonal. 

What’s the Big Idea Ben Franklin

By Jean Fritz, Illustrated by Margaret Tomes

A fun historic tale by Newbery Honor-winning author, Jean Fritz! No matter how busy he was, Ben Franklin always found time to try out new ideas. A man of many talents, he was an ambassador, a printer, an almanac maker, a politician, and even a vegetarian (for a time.)

When I Grow Up: Benjamin Franklin

By Annmarie Anderson, Illustrated by Gerald Kelley

Benjamin Franklin is one of America’s most beloved Founding Fathers and a man of many talents. He is most well-known for discovering electricity. But he was also an author, and editor, a printer, and a diplomat. And he invented many things we still use today. This book takes the reader on an exciting journey from Ben’s childhood to his adulthood as a famous American.

Who Was Ben Franklin

By Dennis Brindell Fradin, Illustrated by John O’Brien

Ben Franklin was the scientist who, with the help of a kite, discovered that lightning is electricity. He was also a statesman, an inventor, a printer, and an an author. He was a man of such amazingly varied talents that some people claimed he had magical powers. 

Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

By Gene Barretta

What would you do if you lived in a community without a library, hospital, post office, or fire department? If you were Ben Franklin, you’d set these up yourself. Franklin also designed the lightning rod. He suggested the idea of daylight savings time. And he invented bifocals. All were inspired by his common sense and intelligence. 

Benjamin Franklin (Giants of Science)

By Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Benjamin Franklin was a famous inventor and multitasker. He’s best remembered as one of America’s Founding Fathers. But he was also a scientist. His experiments led to important discoveries about the nature of electricity. He famously demonstrated that electricity and lightning are one in the same. 

John, Paul, George & Ben

By Lane Smith

Once there were four lads…John [Hancock], Paul [Revere], George [Washington], and Ben [Franklin]. Oh yes, there was also Tom [Jefferson], but he was annoyingly independent and hardly ever around. These lads were always getting into trouble for one reason or another. In other words, they took a few…liberties. And to be honest, they were not always appreciated. This is the story of five little lads before they became five really big Founding Fathers.

You may also like: Ben Franklin Invented Swim Fins  https://www.barbaralowell.com/ben-franklin-invented-swim-fins

Ben Franklin Runs Away

https://www.barbaralowell.com/ben-franklin-runs-away

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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Emma Lazarus, Liberty’s Voice

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Poet Emma Lazarus wrote these famous words as part of a sonnet for an auction.

As a girl, Emma wrote poetry and translated poems from German and French into English. Her father, recognizing her talent, published her first book of poems, Poems and translations by Emma Lazarus, written between the ages of Fourteen and Seventeen.

Emma met and then wrote to one of America’s best known poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, when she was nineteen. She and Emerson worked together as student and mentor. Emma continued to write and publish books of poetry.

Emma also dedicated herself to helping Russian Jewish refugees escaping persecution in their homeland. The refugees lived in poor conditions on Ward’s Island in New York Harbor. Emma brought them clothing and food, set up English classes, and a trade school. She wrote about their plight hoping they would be accepted into American society.

In 1883,  a committee invited Emma to participate in a fundraising campaign to provide a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. The committee asked her to write a sonnet to be auctioned to help raise money for the pedestal.

The statue, a gift from France, sat disassembled in crates on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor. The people of France paid for the statue. Now Americans raised money to pay for the pedestal to support it. But an economic depression made fundraising difficult.

At first, Emma declined the invitation to write a sonnet. Not only was the auction a week away, but as she told a pedestal committee member, Ms. Harrison, “A poem written to order would be flat.” Ms. Harrison asked Emma to think about the Russian Jewish refugees she had been helping. They could inspire her poem.

Emma thought it over. It seemed to her that the statue would light the way for immigrants entering New York Harbor. The Statue of Liberty would welcome them to their new home. She decided to write the poem and called it “The New Colossus.”

Joseph Pulitzer, the publisher of The New York World, asked people around the country to contribute money to build the pedestal. To help with the cause, he published Emma’s poem in his newspaper.

Pulitzer raised over $100,000. Most of the contributions were less than $1.00. The pedestal was built and the statue reassembled. President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886.

In 1903, words from Emma’s “The New Colossus” were inscribed on a plague placed in the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Unfortunately, Emma died in 1887. She never knew that her words, inspired by refugees, welcomed generations of new immigrants seeking freedom in America.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Books For Kids:

The Story of Emma Lazarus: Liberty’s Voice

By Erica Silverman, Illustrated by Stacey Schuett

Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty

By Linda Glaser, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola

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Louis Braille — The Boy Who Invented the Braille Alphabet

Louis Braille lived in the French village of Coupvray. Born in 1809, he was the fourth child of a harness maker and his wife. Louis was a bright and curious child. He especially enjoyed watching his father at work.

One day, three-year-old Louis decided to try out his father’s awl, a very sharp tool. Unfortunately, he injured his eye. It became infected and when Louis touched the uninjured eye, the infection spread, blinding him.

Louis Braille House, Coupvray, France

Louis’s family and a village priest helped him. His father made a cane so that Louis could walk without assistance. His sisters made an alphabet from straw so that he could learn letters. And the priest read to Louis and taught him to listen to the sounds of birds to recognize them.

Louis later went to school with sighted children and listened to and remembered the lessons. But for Louis, that wasn’t enough. He wanted to read books.

When he was ten-years-old, he traveled to Paris to attend the Royal Institution for Blind Youth. The school’s founder had created books with raised letters. But the letters were enormous with only a few sentences or less on a page. The books were not practical.

Then a French army captain named Charles Barbier invented a system of sending messages to soldiers on the field. His system used raised dots so that the soldiers could read the messages without light and not give away their location to the enemy.

The army seemed unimpressed, so Barbier sent his system to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth. Louis and the other students recognized right away that this system was not practical. The dots represented sounds not letters. They were difficult for the students to read.

Louis Braille’s Six-Dot Braille System

Louis Braille decided to adapt Barbier’s system and make it practical. He worked for three years to perfect it. By the age of fifteen, he had developed the six-dot Braille System we know today. Each letter of the alphabet uses a different pattern of raised dots. Louis’s system is used in every country in the world.

Braille


Books for Kids:

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

By Jen Bryant, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Who Was Louis Braille?

By Margaret Frith

Illustrated by Robert Squier and Scott Anderson

Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille

By Russell Freedman, Illustrated by Kate Kiesler

To Learn More Visit: http://nbp.org/ic/nbp/braille/whoislouis.html

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Books For Kids — Jazz

Jazz

By Walter Dean Myers

Illustrated by Christopher Myers

There’s a crazy syncopation/and it’s tearing through the nation/and it’s bringing sweet elation/to every single tune. It’s Jazz. From bebop to New Orleans, from ragtime to boogie, and every style in between, this collection of Walter Dean Myers’s energetic and engaging poems takes readers on a musical journey from jazz’s beginnings to the present day.

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald

by Roxane Orgill, Illustrated by Sean Qualls

When Ella Fitzgerald danced the Lindy Hop on the streets of 1930s Yonkers, people passing by said goodbye to their loose change. For a girl who was orphaned and hungry, with raggedy clothes and often no place to spend the night, small change was not enough. One amateur night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Ella made a discovery: the dancing beat in her feet could travel up and out of her mouth in powerful song — and the feeling of being listened to was like a salve to her heart.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

By Katheryn Russell-Brown

Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Melba Doretta Liston loved the sounds of music from as far back as she could remember. As a child she daydreamed about beats and lyrics, and hummed along with the music from her family’s Majestic radio. At the age of seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba’s extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player, Gerald Wilson, toured the country, and became famous.

Trombone Shorty

By Troy Andrews, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Hailing from the Treme neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was tall. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today he headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.

Before John Was a Jazz Giant:

A Song of John Coltrane

By Carol Boston Weatherford

Illustrated by Sean Qualls

Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s. There were preachers praying, music on the radio, and the bustling sounds of the household. These vivid noises shaped John’s own sound as a musician. This picture book is a rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane.

Who Was Louis Armstrong?

By Yona Zeldis McDonough

Illustrated by John O’Brien

If not for a stint in reform school, young Louis Armstrong might never have become a musician. A teacher at Colored Waifs Home gave him a cornet, promoted him to band leader, and recognized talent in this tough kid from the even tougher New Orleans neighborhood of Storyville. It was Louis’s own passion and genius that pushed jazz into new and exciting realms.

This Jazz Man

By Karen Ehrhardt, Illustrated by R.G. Roth

SNAP! BOMP! BEEDLE-DI-BOP! In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional “This Old Man” gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era’s best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangeles plays two…right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking the strings that sound divine.

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

By Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Josephine Baker worked her way up from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Her powerful story is one of struggle and triumph and is an inspiration.

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz

By Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Keith Mallett

This unusual and inventive picture book riffs on the language and rhythms of old New Orleans and turns its focus to one of America’s early jazz heroes, Jelly Roll Morton.

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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Ada Lovelace — First Computer Programmer

Ada Lovelace is considered to be the world’s first computer programmer.

Ada was born in England on December 10, 1815, the daughter of the famous and reckless poet Lord Byron. Soon after she was born, her parent’s marriage ended. Ada never saw her father again.

Her mother, Anne Isabella Milbanke had a great interest  in mathematics. Byron called her the Princess of Parallelograms. Anne Isabella steered her daughter away from poetry and into mathematics and science.

Ada Lovelace

Ada’s mother discouraged her imagination fearing that she might end up like her father. But Ada had a wonderful imagination. She decided that she would learn how to fly by studying birds’ anatomy. Ada made a set of wings. She wrote and illustrated her own book called Flyology and designed a flying mechanical horse.

Lord Byron

In 1829, Ada became temporarily paralyzed after having measles. She improved her math and science skills while bedridden. At age sixteen, restored to health, Ada was introduced to English society. She met famous scientists and became friends with the engineer Charles Babbage.

Babbage invented a machine called the Difference Engine. It worked like a giant calculator. He then designed a more complex machine he called the Analytical Engine. Babbage thought that the Analytical Engine would solve difficult mathematical calculations. The machine would then store these calculations. And it would also print them.

The Analytical Engine

Ada translated an article written about the Analytical Engine into English. She added her own notes. These notes contained an algorithm that would allow the machine to work. Ada’s algorithm is considered to be the first computer program.

The Analytical Engine was too expensive to build. But it is considered to be the first computer. And Charles Babbage is acknowledged as the “father of the computer.”

Charles Babbage designed his Analytical Engine to be capable of working with numbers. But Ada thought the machine had much greater possibilities. She envisioned it producing music, art, and writing, like modern computers.

Sadly, Ada died at age 36. Although she never met her father, she requested to be buried next to his grave in England.

To Learn More About Babbage’s Engines, Visit: http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/engines/

Books For Kids About Ada Lovelace:

Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace,

the World’s First Computer Programmer

by Fiona Robinson

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

by Laurie Wallmark, Illustrated by April Chu

Ada Lovelace Poet of Science

by Diane Stanley, Illustrated by Jessie Hartland

If you like this article, then please consider sharing it and leaving a comment below. Thank you!

Books For Kids — Jackie Robinson

Who Was Jackie Robinson?

By Gail Herman, Illustrated by John O’Brien

As a kid, Jackie Robinson loved sports. And why not? He was a natural at football, basketball, and, of course, baseball. But beyond athletic skill, it was his strength of character that secured his place in sports history. In 1947, Jackie joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the long-time color barrier in Major League Baseball. It was tough being the first, not only did “fans” send hate mail but some of his own teammates refused to accept him.

Stealing Home

Jackie Robinson Against All Odds

By Robert Burleigh and Mike Wimmer

Man on third. Two outs. The pitcher eyes the base runner, checks for the signs. The fans in the jammed stadium hold their breath. Flapping his outstretched arms like wings, number 42 leads off again. It is September 1955, game one of the World Series, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, and Jackie Robinson is about to do the unbelievable, attempt to steal home in a World Series game. Is it possible? Yes, it is, if you are Jackie Robinson.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

By Bette Bao Lord

Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English so it’s hard to make friends. Then a miracle happens: baseball! It’s 1947 and Jackie Robinson star of the Brooklyn Dodgers is everyone’s hero. He proves that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America. By watching Jackie, Shirley begins to truly feel at home in her new country, and that America really is the land of opportunity — both on and off the field.

The Hero Two Doors Down:

Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend

By Sharon Robinson

Eight year old Stephen Satlow lives in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing, the Dodgers. Steve hears a rumor that an African-America family is moving to his neighborhood. It’s 1948, and some of his neighbors are against it. Steve knows this is wrong. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before. And as it turns out, Steve’s new neighbor is Jackie Robinson. Written by Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon.

Jackie Robinson He Led the Way

By April Jones Prince

Illustrated by Robert Casilla

Jackie Robinson became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era when he stepped onto the field as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1947. This book follows Jackie from childhood through his career as an award winning baseball player and a hero of the civil rights movement.

When Jackie and Hank Met

by Cathy Goldberg Fishman

Illustrated by Mark Elliott

Jackie Robinson and Hank Greenberg were two very different people. But they both became Major League Baseball players and they both faced a lot of the same challenges in their lives and careers. For Jackie, it was his skin color, for Hank, his religion. On May 17, 1947, these two men met for the first time colliding at first base in a close play. While the crowd urged them to fight, Jackie and Hank chose a different path. This is the story of two men who went on to break the barriers of race and religion in America sports and became baseball legends in the process.

Teammates

by Peter Golenbock, Illustrated by Paul Bacon

This is the moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a Major League baseball team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s, and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate. 

I am Jackie Robinson

By Brad Meltzer

Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn’t allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played together. He became the first black player in Major League Baseball, and his bravery changed history and led the way to equality in all American sports.

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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